Micromanipulation of endothelial cells: Ultrasound-microbubble-cell interaction

Annemieke van Wamel, Ayache Bouakaz, Michel Versluis, N. de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Ultrasound (US) in combination with contrast microbubbles has been shown to alter the permeability of cell membranes without affecting cell viability. This permeabilisation feature is used to design new drug delivery systems using US and contrast agents. The underlying mechanisms are still unknown. One hypothesis is that oscillating microbubbles cause cell deformation resulting in enhanced cell membrane permeability. This technical note reveals the interaction between oscillating microbubbles and endothelial cells under a microscope recorded with a fast framing camera at 10 million frames per second. A microbubble expansion of 100% resulted a 2.3-m displacement of the cell membrane. During the insonification, changes of approximately 15% in the cross-sectional distance of the endothelial cells were observed due to microbubble vibrations. In conclusion, the use of such a camera makes it possible to reveal the mechanisms of interactions between ultrasound, microbubbles and cells.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1255-1258
Number of pages4
JournalUltrasound in medicine and biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Drug delivery
  • High-frame-rate camera
  • Endothelial cells
  • Ultrasound
  • Micromanipulation
  • IR-49963
  • Sonovue™
  • METIS-223016
  • Real-time optical observations
  • Microbubbles

Cite this